Walking almost apologetically onto stage and obscured by swathes of blue light they kick off with the unravelling beauty of ‘Undrowned’. Whilst this is subdued in every respect, ‘Torso Of The Week’ shifts proceedings up a gear with frontman Jonathan Higgs and bassist Jeremy Pritchard engaging in an onstage guitar duel with the crowd feverishly singing along to every word. After a quick pause to wish us good evening we are treated to the glorious ‘Kemosabe’, Higgs spinning confidently around the stage mic in hand and throwing in the occasional vocal ad lib for good measure, the version they play tonight adding subtle layers of guitar to winning effect. Next up they power through a rocked-out version of ‘Qwerty Finger’ and its ‘Man Alive’ counterpart ‘Final Form’, the latter starting off melodically before furious guitars combine with piercing off-key screams. The poised lovelorn bliss of ‘Choice Mountain’ sees the stage bathed in blue and red light, but it’s the exquisite harmonies and purposeful sequenced violins of ‘Duet’ that make for the evening’s highlight. The line ‘If it’s gonna happen let it happen now’ is delivered with such intense longing that it felt like the very heavens are being torn down.
After such moments of contemplation, the shout of ‘Are you ready for some party tunes?’ announces the arrival of the rave friendly ‘Schoolin” with its devastating keyboard breakdown prompting wave after wave of clapping hands. Evident throughout is how the material from ‘Man Alive’ has been tightened and reworked to deliver a punch that matches their newer creations, the ferocity of ‘Photoshop Handsome’ and ‘Suffragette Suffragette’ exemplifying this with pounding guitars cranked up to the absolute limit. It seems funny to think just how many people sang along to the latter’s hook, an irony not lost on their lead singer remarking how he ‘loves the fact that everybody loves that song. It’s just ridiculous’. Sandwiched in between these old favourites is the poignant ‘The Peaks’, an intensely moving number stripped of their trademark obscure lyrics which sees keyboards coming to the fore before exploding with deep synth stabs and a soaring choir of voices.
Previous single ‘Cough Cough’ has the entire band on vocal duty whilst Higgs bangs the bass drum as if his very life depended on it. This is followed by a slick version of ‘My Kz, Ur Bf’, complete with its majestic intro, ‘the lights all fade’ segment, applied perfectly for its visual equivalent. The stately ‘The House Is Dust’ and ‘Radiant’ are reminders that the band are equally adept when it comes to chronicling matters of the heart whilst ‘Don’t Try’ is the perfect way to finish their encore, the closing track of their latest album delivering a restrained electronic well of fury and mayhem. With a rudimental stage set up of just a few coloured spotlights and strobes, tonight is a real triumph for substance over style. Everything Everything have come along way in the days since their chaotic early shows and are set for bigger stages.
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